Corridors of Freedom - get ready to vote for first new name

The Empire-Perth Corridor as it approaches central JoburgThe Empire-Perth Corridor as it approaches central Joburg from the west. (CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION)

The public will soon have the opportunity to vote for a new name for the Empire-Perth Corridor between central Joburg and Soweto, as the City's campaign to name and brand its first emerging Corridor of Freedom enters its penultimate phase.

Executive Mayor Parks Tau on a recent tour of the CorridorJDA development manager Siyabonga Genu briefs Executive Mayor Parks Tau and Global Environment Fund (GEF) chief executive Naoko Ishii on the agency's public environment updgrades in Westbury, along the Corridor. The UN agency recently announced that it will invest more than R120-million in Joburg's emerging Corridors of Freedom. (Photo by Elias Nkabinde)The Corridors of Freedom is a City of Johannesburg initiative aimed at leading city-wide renewal through the development of some of the city's poorest areas.

The project, which was adopted in 2013 and is key to Executive Mayor Parks Tau's Growth and Development Strategy 2040, seeks to transform Joburg through public transport improvement, mixed-use development and the establishment of health, education and recreational facilities conveniently placed for residents.

Three Corridors have been identified and the first one, Empire-Perth - which runs along western parts of the city, including areas such as Parktown, Richmond, Melville, Coronationville and Westbury - is currently undergoing a naming and branding process.

A key part of the process of giving identity to the Corridors is to allow residents to participate in the activities that will change their city for the better.

Tasked with driving this process, the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA) - a lead agency in conceptualising and implementing the Corridors initiative - devised a campaign to capture people's imaginations while promoting a sense of shared ownership of the Corridors.

Coronationville Secondary School learners make a case for their proposed name for the Empire-Perth CorridorCoronationville Secondary School learners make a case for their proposed name for the Empire-Perth Corridor of Freedom during a presentation at Rand Girls' School on 30 September. (Photo by Rudo Mungoshi)To give the Empire-Perth Corridor a more inclusive and reflective identity, the process kicked off with a school research project conducted by grade nine learners from schools located in the Corridor.

The process delivered a shortlist of five names - Ithembalethu, //hapo, Sakhiwo, Empilweni and Vusa - one of which will ultimately become the official name for the Corridor.

Residents will soon have an opportunity to vote for their preferred name - watch this space for more information on how to participate!